Also available for PlayStation 2
Given that the news lately has put me in a "shoot at Nazis" sort of mood lately, I figured I'd finally play Medal of Honor: Vanguard. I'm a big fan of pre-modern BS Medal of Honor series, and I'm also a big fan of the Wii, so I was looking forward to this one. While it's not god awful, it's not exactly an exemplar of the first person shooter genre on the Wii.
Both the PS2 and Wii versions of the game received mixed reviews, and after playing it myself, it's not hard to see why. The visuals aren't exactly what I'd call impressive even in the context of the Wii's graphical capabilities, and the AI is even less intelligent than the current presidential administration. Every enemy knows exactly where you are when you come out of cover, totally destroying my suspension of disbelief, and none of them have any sense of tactics; they just stand in the same place and periodically pop out of cover to shoot with no regard for the fact that you're standing there pointing a gun exactly where they're going to appear.
Personally, my biggest complaint is the the controls and the lack of customization options. I normally love shooters on the Wii. Motion controls are my jam. That stops being the case when you don't let me adjust the sensitivity. The options menu lets you tweak the gesture sensitivity, but if you turned off the optional gestures (swipe the nunchuck left to change weapons, swipe it up to jump, swipe it down to crouch, etc), that's a moot point. It didn't let me adjust the aiming sensitivity at all, and that's the single biggest determining factor in how comfortable a Wii shooter is for me to play. I got used to the fixed sensitivity, but that's a big minus in my book.
Fortunately the gameplay itself (once you get used to the aiming sensitivity) does a lot to redeem the game. It's just like every other WWII Medal of Honor game that you've ever played, but that's pretty much exactly what you want. You play Medal of Honor for consistently awesome Nazi killing, not for innovation or variety. It would have been nice for Vanguard to have had online multiplayer back when the Wii still had online capabilities given how robust Heroes 2's 32-player multiplayer was, but that's much less important to me than it is to most folks. The single player is fun, and the characters aren't horribly annoying. That's pretty much all it takes to make me happy.
Medal of Honor: Vanguard isn't one of the best FPS games on the Wii, but it's still a good bit of fun if you're into World War II era games. It doesn't make full use of the Wii's visual capabilities like Conduit 2 or Metroid Prime 3 did, and the control customization is basically non-existent, but all in all, it's still a pretty good time although I'd pay a maximum of $5 if I were to hunt down the game today. It's also not a long game and well divided for bursts of play; the campaign is cut into four operations with two or three levels each. HowLongToBeat suggests roughly four hours to complete, but I took closer to six hours probably. Granted, I suck at shooters, but still, the point is that it's not a long game, so game fatigue isn't a concern here. If you're into Wii shooters, check this one out, but don't go in expecting a masterpiece, and don't overpay.
My Rating - 3 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.